Utd still searching for first win after derby stalemate

Galway United's Gary Shanahan tries to get the better of Sligo Rovers' Gary Boylan during Monday night's Premier Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.
Galway United's Gary Shanahan tries to get the better of Sligo Rovers' Gary Boylan during Monday night's Premier Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United  1

Sligo Rovers 1

THE 86th Connacht derby finished honours even in Eamonn Deacy Park on Monday night, but it was a result that really does little for either side in their bid to move away from the foot of the table.

When United took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the game, they looked set to record their first win of the season in a fixture that was moved from the scheduled date of last Friday due to a waterlogged pitch.

Ronan Murray scored for the third consecutive league game to fire United into a 12th minute lead, and with the home side’s adventurous 3-4-3 formation causing Sligo Rovers all sorts of trouble, it seemed that Shane Keegan was about to enjoy his first league win as Galway United manager.

The visitors were there for the taking, but for some inexplicable reason, once United go their noses in front, they dropped the tempo and sat back off their opponents, and they paid the price for conceding both ground and possession when Kieran Sadlier grabbed an equaliser in the 36th minute.

“I don’t know is it game knowledge, or what you call that thing we are missing, but we know we are missing something,” Keegan said after the game.

“Once we get that first three points, I know it is easy to say, but you are inclined to think that once you get that first three points, it will take off, but we need to get that win, and fast,” he said.

Keegan tinkered with his formation, playing a back three of Colm Horgan, Stephen Folan, and Lee Grace, pushing Marc Ludden up to the left of a four-man midfield with Gary Shanahan on the other flank, and David Cawley and Paul Sinnott in the middle.

That left a front three of Vinny Faherty playing through the middle, with Murray and Jesse Devers either side of him, and that trio caused the Sligo rearguard all kinds of problems, with Devers and Murray full of running and constantly switching flanks.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.